Motoring.co.uk is bringing a touch of elegance to the new year by evaluating our top three luxury saloons
Motoring.co.uk is bringing a touch of elegance to the new year by evaluating our top three luxury saloons. These motoring leviathans come in all shapes and sizes from traditionally elegant to sharp and cutting edge. So, which executive playthings make the grade?The outgoing Jaguar XJ Series makes a triumphant entry into position three. This flagship saloon is a traditional mix of technology and style that is arguably lacking in its replacement. There are five engines to choose from, four petrol and one diesel. The 2.7-litre diesel is a sensible choice as it produces 204bhp, wafts to 60mph in 7.8 seconds, and returns a combined average of 35mpg. This complements the excellent handling and magic carpet ride traditionally associated with this legendary vehicle. The new Audi A8 swerves around the Jaguar to finish second. This Germanic saloon is currently available with a choice of two engines. High flying executives can therefore choose the 4.2-litre 372bhp petrol or the 4.2-litre 340bhp diesel. These impressive units work alongside innovations such as the eight-speed transmission that ‘talks’ to the satellite navigation. These systems – apparently – work together to devise a 'gear shifting strategy' to factor in corners to avoid unnecessary, fuel-sapping, gear changes. So these are the runners-up in Motoring.co.uk's top three luxury saloons. The winner is the enviably talented new Mercedes E-Class. The latest E-Class is sharper and more aggressive than its predecessor but the late generation's mechanical toughness and high specification remain. Even basic versions have seven air bags, parking sensors, and 'attention assist' to detect driver fatigue. Engines range from the economical 2.2-litre 134bhp diesel to the monstrous 5.5-litre V8 petrol. This latter model produces 381bhp and is capable of a licence loosing 155mph. The new E-Class is therefore an exceptional vehicle capable enough to satisfy the most demanding tycoon.